Northern Illinois (2-3) at Nebraska (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) -- Lincoln, Nebraska. Television: BTDN. Home Record: Northern Illinois 2-3, Nebraska 3-0. Away Record: Northern Illinois 0-0, Nebraska 0-0. Neutral Record: Northern Illinois 0-0, Nebraska 1-2. Conference Record: Northern Illinois 0-0, Nebraska 0-0. Series Record: Nebraska leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northern Illinois Huskies tip off against each other for the first time since 1991 at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday afternoon.
This will be the first road game of the season for the Huskies. Last time out, Northern Illinois posted a convincing 111-61 win over St. Joseph's (Indiana). Darrell Bowie scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead all Huskies, while J.J. Cravatta tallied a career-best 20 points.
While the win was nice, this contest will be much more of a test for NIU, which is led in scoring by Bowie. The sophomore averages 12.2 points per game, reaching double figures in three of the first five games. He is also the team's leading rebounder with seven per contest and he'll need to continue to improve and others will need to step up if the Huskies are to have a chance against the much-tougher Cornhuskers.
Nebraska enters this contest fresh off a 73-65 win over Georgia to close out the Charleston Classic on Sunday. The Cornhuskers dropped the first two games of the tournament, losing to UMass (96-90) and UAB (87-74), but rallied in their final contest against the Bulldogs.
Four Cornhuskers scored in double figures, led by 15 points from Terran Petteway. Tai Webster added 14 points, Ray Gallegos registered 11 and Walter Pitchford chipped in with 12. Leslee Smith contributed eight points and 11 rebounds, as Nebraska used a second-half surge to take control and hit 14- of-17 free throws over the final 20 minutes to help record its first win against a major conference opponent this year.
For the season, Nebraska is led in scoring by Petteway�s 16.7 points per game. Shavon Shields is also one of the leaders of the Cornhuskers, tallying an average of 13.3 points per contest. The team is also shooting a blistering 37.4 percent from 3-point range and has a much more balanced attack than the Huskies.
Nebraska has yet to lose to an opponent from a mid-major conference this season. Although this will be a step-up for the Huskies, the Cornhuskers will have to avoid a let-down, which shouldn't be too hard since the team has had nearly a week of rest and is coming home to its $179 million brand-new facility. The home team has won every game in this series and even though this is the first time in 22 years the two schools are facing, don't expect anything different here.
Sports Network Predicted outcome: Nebraska 85, Northern Illinois 63.
11/30 10:36:56 ET